Originally Posted by TimothyH
More like "The sixth century called. They want their idea back."
Benedictine and Cistercian monks have been gathering around the altar for many, many centuries. That's why some of the abbey Churches have large open sancuaries with a freestanding altar, so that the community can gather around.
I was privileged to have been invited into the sanctuary during consecration at a Sunday Mass in a Cistercian monastery while on retreat.
It is nevertheless not permitted to do this in parish churches, regardless of historical precedence.